Footpath obstructed

Such a shame that the York Council seems once again to have taken its eye off the ball. While endlessly agonising about – and focusing expenditure on – pedestrian activities in the City centre, the suburbs remain neglected.

One public footpath on the A59 near Poppleton is now blocked by overhanging branches. The same stretch had a similar problem last year. Pedestrians are forced to walk on what can be a busy carriageway. Makes a nonsence of “social distancing”

Nearby by weeds are growing in the gutters on the road and in the underpass at the junction with the A1237.

The council doesn’t seem to have an inspection regime in place which identifies issues (even those that reoccur regularly) before they become an inconvenience to residents.

Footpath impeded near Poppleton
Weeds in gutters on A59
Weed growth on underpass

That was the week that was in west York in pictures

Several suburban shopping streets need a tidy up. We asked for bins at Foxwood to be emptied but the Council now needs to provide more support for businesses that “soldiered on” during lock-down providing lifeline services for some.
Still too much graffiti on utility boxes in the area. Two more reported in the Dijon Avenue area this week
Rain and wind have brought detritus down blocking some drainage channels. We’ve asked for those in Kingsthorpe to be swept.
The footpath at the high numbered end of Tudor Road has been levelled. It had been damaged by tree roots. We expect that the problem will reoccur
However the nearby footpath on Tudor Road is still blocked by overrunning Yorkshire Water works

A major problem across the whole of the City are rapidly growing weeds. The Councils contractors have been seen out spraying but they will have been hampered by wet weather.

As a result many back lanes, footpaths, snickets and cycle paths are now obstructed.

This can be a hazard particularly for the partially sighted.

Hopefully residents, who see an issue near their home or business, will deal with it themselves.

Weed growth and other issues can be reported 24/7 via the Council web site ” click “Report it”

Most often knocked over traffic bollard? Fastest growing thistles?

Is this the most frequently damaged mini roundabout keep left sign. Located at the junction of Askham Lane and Ridgeway, no sooner is it repaired and another large vehicle – or careless driver- knocks it over again. York Council needs to come up with a better solution.
Thistles are now partly blocking the cycle path at Knapton. Not sure whether this is on the York Council weed killing programme? It should be. It would be a shame to lose this, increasingly well used, cycle link to Rufforth for lack of maintenance.
It would be a shame if the York Council was to be allowed to continue to neglect the Front Street area. More must be invested in improving maintenance standards. However, there are now new opportunities for regeneration. The Councils decision to (effectively) evict disabled drivers (blue badge holders) from the City centre could prompt the reopening of Front Street, for this category of motorists, on at least a couple of days each week. They would then be free to park nearer the shops (disabled parking spaces are currently limited). Cyclists would also benefit. “Social distancing” is made easier because of the shop forecourts. Add in some music/entertainment, street stalls and a high profile marketing campaign and the area could soon be buzzing again. .

That was the week that was in west York in photos

Bachelor Hill looking very smart including the wildflwoer meadow.
We’ve reported the damaged fence at the Cornlands park play area. The play area is due to officially reopen later this week following the health lock-down.. The fencing was provided to prevent fouling by dogs.
Another shopping trolley has made a break for freedom. This one on Tennent Road
We are still waiting for the goal posts on the Westfield park to be repainted. Been outstanding for three years now. Pitch also needs remarking before the new season starts.
Lots of weed growth as a result of the weather this week. Particular problems in Chapelfields and on Askham Lane.
Weeds overgrowing the bus shelter on Foxwood Lane again. The Council owned shelter is now looking very shabby now.
Damaged utility marker sign on Grange Lane is still lying on the verge despite being reported in January.
More snickets now obstructed by overhanging trees.

That was the week that was in photos

Good to see some patching work on the Herman Walk carriageway. Like the roads in the rest of the area a lot more work is needed if they are to be brought up to an acceptable standard.
Disappointing to see the safety barriers disassembled on Chesneys Field. They were put there to stop children using the play equipment at the height of the Coronavirus crisis. The Council now needs to decide whether it is going to continue to try to stop the equipment – which is not fenced off normally – being used or simply remove the equipment. Perhaps a reminder sign about hygiene could be put up?
Two shopping trolleys have made a break for freedom. One was last seen on Gale Lane while a second had made it as far as Cornlands Road. Both have been reported
& the wetter weather has seen weeds growing more quickly in gutters. We’ve reported those in The Reeves. We are about due to see the next round of weed treatment

More trees coming but what about maintaining existing ones?

More trees are set to be planted this year as part of the Councils response to climate change. 50,000 are promised.

Officials say that the programme has been delayed by the heath scare although little progress seems to have been made in securing sites for the “forest”.

Over the last few months, residents have laid informal claims for the use of some unused areas of land on the City outskirts as informal exercise areas. These would be a good place for the Council to start looking for locations for planting although it does own several sites, including some near the river, which could accommodate more trees.

Informal walks through Acomb Wood, and the like, have brought home to more people the value of informal leisure space. Any Council initiative is likely to have popular support if it is pressed through quickly now.

Hopefully they will remedy the mistakes of the past and avoid planting inappropriate species of trees too close to paths and highways.

We have already learned that nearly £500,000 is required to repair part of the York – Selby cycle path which has been badly damaged by tree roots. One lesson is the need in the future to install “root shields” at vulnerable locations.

Roots damaging cycle paths

There are similar problems in the urban area

Root damage on snicket link to Thoresby Road. We’ve reported litter and weeds on the same snicket.
Similar hazard on Tudor Road
In same cases private hedges are now obstructing footpaths
The Council have now promised to trim the branch which is obstructing a footpath in the Kingsway West area
Weeds on Front Street. The council has treated some weed growth around amenity trees but has missed others. Doesn’t seem to be any consistency in their programme.

Cycle path cleared of obstructions

Its taken a long time, but the cycle path on Tadcaster Road (A1036) has finally been cleared of obstructions. A one metre margin has been cut and the worst of the overgrowing branches have been trimmed.

The Council still needs to apply some weed killer where grass is breaking through tde surface of the path.

There really needs to be an inspection regime put in place to avoid problems in the future on this, and other, dedicated paths.

Children’s playgrounds – does policy need to be reviewed?

The York Council took steps to secure playgrounds when the health crisis deepened in March.

Where playgrounds couldn’t be secured, some a attempt was made to surround equipment with barriers.

The intention was to stop transmission of the COVID virus through contact with the equipment. Similar campaigns were initiated on street gym equipment while the “wash your hands” message was continually reinforced.

After nearly 4 months, and with some children now returning to school, perhaps not surprisingly the lure of taking a turn on the play equipment is proving too be strong for some.

Children were playing on the climbing frame and on the zip wire on Foxwood Lane yesterday.

The Council needs to review its policies and – if appropriate – make additional efforts to discourage use of communal play equipment.

Barriers down and children playing on equipment in Foxwood
We’ve reported weeds growing out from a planter in the Front Street pedestrian area.
Also reported dumping on the Chesney Field snicket

Impeded paths blamed on damp weather vegetation growth

Grange Lane/Parker Avenue snicket is gradually getting narrower!
Trees are now blocking part of the path which links Kingsway West and Green Lane. Pedestrians are forced to walk on the grass. The trees are in the compound of the Council’s building contractor.
& another Council garage forecourt area apparently missed of the weed killing list. This one on Windsor Garth

York Council now tackling weed growth issues in west York

Pleased to report that the Council has been out and about dealing with some of the issues that we have reported regarding weed growth. Several areas have been cleared this week including the little Green Lane garage forecourt. .

The Kingsway West garage forecourt area has been cleared of weeds.
Weeds have been cleared from Hotham Avenue and Sandown Close (Windsor Garth)
The Marston Avenue garage area is also now clear of weed growth

Still a lot to do. The next application of weedkiller is due at the end of the month.